Engaging Men in Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Programs: A Scoping Review

Am J Mens Health. 2016 Nov;10(6):NP145-NP154. doi: 10.1177/1557988315587549. Epub 2015 Jun 30.


Chronic disease has become one of the largest health burdens facing the developed world. Men are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with chronic disease than women. Although lifestyle interventions have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic disease in participants, men are often underrepresented in such programs. The purpose of this study was to explore the individual-level and program-specific factors that affect male participation rates in chronic disease prevention and management (CDPM) programs. A scoping review methodology was selected, and 25 studies met the criteria for inclusion in the review. Results showed that traditional group-based programs that focused on topics such as nutrition and physical activity were often seen by men as inherently feminine, which served as a barrier for participation. Program-specific factors that attracted men to participate in interventions included a group component with like-minded men, the use of humor in the delivery of health information, the inclusion of both nutrition and physical activity components, and the presence of some manner of competition. A past negative health event, personal concern for health status, and motivation to improve physical appearance were cited by men as facilitators to CDPM program participation. Gaps in the research are identified, and results of this study can be used to inform the development of CDPM programs that will improve the engagement and participation of men.

Keywords: health promotion and disease prevention; men’s health interventions; men’s health programs; population-based; preventive medicine.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men's Health*

Grant support